2002 MEN'S TEAM:
The men's team has been devastated by an epidemic of injuries in 2002, losing for the majority of the season as many as a dozen top performers / point scorers. Decathlete coach Ed Miller told me that this is the most injuries that he has ever encountered in a single season during his career. Moreover, four key stars were lost on a single unlucky weekend in early March.
The men's squad will lose 10 significant contributors to graduation, so the Big Meet will mean a lot to them. The seniors are Corey Creasey (distances), Bubba McLean (pole vault), Jerriod Mack (jumps), Matt Blair (decathlon), Desmond McGill (quarter-miler), Jelani Hogg (quarter-miler), Jarrell Meier (mile), Jason Manly (sprints), Brian White (sprints) & Zack McGahey (half miler). Cal's men have dominated the competition with the Stanford men over the years except for a surprise upset last season, 82-81, in Palo Alto. Actually, Stanford has made a concerted effort in the last decade to bolster their track program (with emphasis on the distance running events) and has succeeded. The Cardinal men are currently ranked #3 in the nation. As a matter of fact, Cal's men defeated Stanford in Berkeley the prior year (2000) by winning the final event, the 4 x 400 relay. With several of Cal's "best" missing this Saturday, the Bear men should be lauded if the dual meet is competitive.
INJURY LIST: the top 8 athletes would score in multiple events in most dual meets!
#1-sophomore Rhuben Williams, top weight man in shot, discuss & hammer (redshirt: torn tendon in his throwing hand)
#2-junior Robert Kennedy, top sprinter & long jumper (redshirt: hamstring injury)
#3-junior Vincent Ibia, top long & triple jumper (questionable: hip injury)
#4-senior Matt Blair, top decathlete (season over: ankle injury in pole vault)
#5-senior Jelani Hogg, quartermiler & relay anchor (probable: nagging injuries)
#6-soph Girmay Guangul, top distance runner (redshirt: nagging ankle sprain)
#7-junior Nick Mazur, top sprinter (questionable: has NOT run recently???)
#8-senior Jerriod Mack, top triple & long jumper (probable: numerous injuries)
#9-junior Tim Bogdanof, top hurdler (ineligible)
#10-freshman Scott Sobieralski, top decathlete recruit (redshirt: shoulder injury)
#11-soph Bruce Giron, triple jump (questionable: hip injury from 2001 redshirt yr "lingers")
#12-RS freshman Greg Ross (season over: stress fracture after hamstring in 2001!)
#13-RS freshman Ricci Dula, top sprinter (probable: rehab from ACL injury to his knee in 2001!)
#14-senior Jason Manly, ex-top sprinter (probable: myriad of injuries over 5 yrs)
To illustrate "why" Cal lost a triangular meet to UC Davis about a month ago, Cal has not even dared to run a 4 x 100 relay for weeks nor the 4 x 400 relay last weekend. The coaching staff has instead opted to let bodies heal. Out of 19 events, Cal should be favored on paper in only 5! The potential victories are the 4 x 100 relay (if Cal fields a team), the pole vault, the shot put, the javelin & the triple jump (if Mack competes). The 4 x 400 relay should be exciting, too, with Stanford having a 1.4 second faster time! The overall results imbalance is largely due to injuries (except for distance events). For example, Reuben Williams won the shot, Vincent Ibia won the triple jump & Jelani Hogg won the 400m @ the 2001 Big Meet. If one wants to peruse each Men's event and Cal's respective best times/distances for 2002, visit www.calbears.com and click on the press release regarding the 108th Big Meet.
Since this is the best women's team in a few years, the emphasis here will be on the #20 ranked Cal Bears versus #25 Stanford. Due to a budget shortage for track & field (which I will address in detail in part II, "The Big Picture"), Cal has funded only 12 out of 18 scholarships available for women's track. To be #20 in the nation under these adverse circumstances is a major tribute to the current Cal coaching staff (6 members). Congratulations, everyone! Imagine what the Bears could accomplish with a fully endowed track and field program?
For the record, the following Cal women track performers are out for the season due to injuries, etc.
WOMEN'S CASUALTY LIST FOR 2002:
#1-senior Kenya Corley, long jumper/ relay sprinter (season over ?)
#2-senior Lache Bailey, middle distance runner (redshirt: muscle pull)
#3-junior Lisa O'Connor, hurdler (redshirt: unsure of exact injury)
#4-junior Inga Prasetyo, long jumper (redshirt: juco transfer c/o Indonesia)
#5-freshman Marjorie Jackson, sprinter (redshirt: ? injury)
#6-freshman Crossley Pinkstaff, javelin (redshirt: back injury)
#7-freshman Elzunia Wojcicka, heptathlon/long jump (redshirt: 2 stress fractures)
#8-freshman Maja Ruznic, 800m-1500m runner (redshirt: ?injury)
The success of the Cal women this year can be greatly attributed to the leadership of a strong senior class. The nine (9) senior members of the team are: Missy Vanek, Jennifer Joyce, Erin Belger, Shawna Adkins, Marielle Schlueter, Lauren Dudugjian, Kenya Corley and Lina Biber-Ferro.
Cal-Stanford handicap of meet (by event): 5-3-1 points for top 3 places plus 5 points for each relay winner. ( I should note that I do not have any inside information regarding Cal's injuries and know nothing about the health of Stanford personnel):
TRACK EVENTS (11)
DeCola Groce (12.12) first place
Shannon Hawes (12.32)
Shannon Hawes (25.41)
DeCola Groce (25.59)
Chloe Jarvis (56.3) third place
Erin Belger (2:04.6) first place
Lindsey Maclise (2:12.3)
Lindsey Maclise (4:33)
Lina Biber-Ferro (4:46)
3000 meter SC:
Marielle Schlueter (10:30)second place
Abby Parker (10:59) third place
100 m hurdles:
April Holliverse (13.99) injured?
Stephanie Cowling (14.28)third place
400 m hurdles:
Deanna Slaton (60.76)first place
Stephanie Cowling (61.23) second place
April Holliverse (61.86)
4 x 100 m relay:
Cal upsets Stanford!
400 m relay:
Cal (3:45) over Stanford
FIELD EVENTS (8)
Lauren Dudugjian (5'8 3/4") third place
Cynthia Mallory (5'8 3/4")
Missy Vanek (5'7") second place
Leora Ward (12'11 1/2") second place
Danielle Navarre (11'6")
Missy Vanek (18'10 3/4") second place
Trinety White (18'10") third place
Kenya Corley (18'4 1/2") injured?
Shawna Adkins (17' 9 1/2")
Trinety White (40'11")first place
Shawna Adkins (39'6 3/4") second place
Jenna Johnson (49'10")second place
Sherri Russell (47'5") third place
Tammy d'Artenay (44' 7 1/2")
Jennifer Joyce (178'3") first place
Sherryi Russell (174'7")third place
Jennifer Ladouceur (158'9")
Jennifer Joyce (212'7")first place
Sherri Russell (176'3") third place
Missy Vanek (141'3") first place
Jennifer Ramos (124'6")
Shawna Adkins (123'6") third place
FINAL SCORE: Stanford 88, Cal 75
For an inside look at the Cal track & field program - "The Big Picture"- watch for our follow-up article soon!